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Saturday, August 1, 1998

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St. Alphonsus Liguori

Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24
Psalm 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34
Matthew 14:1-12

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"Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds; listen to the voice of the Lord your God, so that the Lord will repent of the evil with which He threatens you." —Jeremiah 26:13

When Herod heard of Jesus, he didn't think of Jesus. Instead, Herod thought of John the Baptizer (Mt 14:2). Herod may have been eaten up with guilt for beheading John. This hell of guilt was due to murder, which was due to pride and lust (see Mt 14:3ff). Herod's lust was bred in unforgiveness or some other root sin.

When we sin, we "get on a roll" of slavery, self-deception, self-hatred, spiritual blindness, spiritual anorexia, and spiritual paralysis. Ultimately, the wages of sin is death (Rm 6:23). If we board the train of sin, we will do things that we consider "sick," perverted, and perverting. We will be taken to places we've never wanted to go. Ultimately, we can go to hell.

Therefore, love God and hate sin (see Sir 17:21). Resist temptations to sin — even to the point of shedding your blood (Heb 12:4). If you have sinned, repent immediately. Go to Confession. Consider this sacrament a great gift to be received at least monthly. Be a minister of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18): love sinners; hate sin; convict others of sin (see Jn 16:8); call them to repentance. Above all, thank Jesus always and forever for being the slain Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29).

Prayer:  Jesus, I accept You as the Offering for my sins and for the sins of the whole world (1 Jn 2:2).

Promise:  "It was the Lord Who sent me to prophesy." —Jer 26:12

Praise:  St. Alphonsus, who devoted himself to hearing confessions, is a patron of confessors. He wrote a guidebook for hearing confessions. St. Alphonsus, pray for a great increase in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Confession.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, February 17, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 25, 1998